Old 08-08-2014, 03:58 AM   #211
ILOVEJESUS
I Live Here
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 5,158
Quote:
Wicked CLown wrote View Post
Please pray for me beautiful Internet soul. I have been experiencing an extremely dark night of the soul and your shimmering rays of righteousness lit up my heart.

Thank you for making my day!
Well I had nothing better to do so......

A theist is just an atheist with a space in it.
ILOVEJESUS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2014, 05:30 PM   #212
Mage
New Member!
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 18
I think the main problem with the overpopulation thing is that there are still so many developing nations. In the developed nations most people just have 1 or 2 kids but 3rd world countries have like 6 or 7 kids, so if the developing nations could become developed then there would probably be less or no overpopulation.
Mage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2015, 06:21 PM   #213
Stephen Kahn
New Member!
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 10
I am not only an atheist, I am a nihilist. The universe seems to exist. I exist in it. I am an empiricist. I know the universe through my senses. I change the universe though what we call science and technology. The universe follows "laws" of cause and effect. I bang a nail; it goes into a board.

Human beings are animals with complex brains. We are a product of evolution. We are the only animals (on planet earth) with full self awareness and full awareness of our mortality. There are other "intelligent animals" such as primates, elephants, whales, crows, octopuses, but none of them have full self awareness and realization of mortality.

I live in the woods on an island; I see clever animals such as raccoons, constantly trying to get into our chicken run and eat our chickens. But they don't wake up (as I do at 71 years of age) and say, "One of these days I am going to die."

As animals are chief drives are to survive and pass on our genes. As the excellent book DENIAL argues, only humans developed full intelligence because we are so good at lying. We lie to each other and to ourselves all the time. Our chief lie is, "I won't die." As clever liars we invented religion. Several of the chief lies include "I have a soul that will exist after my physical body dies, either through reincarnation (Karmic religions) or through Abrahmic Heaven/Hell. Life is not fair, so lie #2 is "good" will be rewarded and "evil" will be punished.

Good and evil have no objective existence like laws of physics and gravity. They are inventions of humans. We have empathy through our evolution as social (pack) animals. As we formed civilizations we developed laws to regulate ourselves because we got to the top of the food chain though being such clever and vicious omnivores and we are very, very dangerous to everything around us and to each other.

I am not a sociopath/psychopath (about 1% of humans lack empathy) but I am very close to it. Because I have some empathy I don't break the basic "rules" of my culture; also I am too dumb and too old to act like a nihilist psychopath and benefit from it.

As far as abortion goes, words such as "pro-life" and "pro-choice" have little meaning and little usefulness. It's a difficult practical matter. Society sensibly prohibits "murder" of adult human beings; Society also sensibly allows killing in self defense.

In my opinion, which I think is widely shared here, birth control (pills, condoms, etc.), including "day after pill" and so on is not murder. On the other hand, killing a fetus a day before it is born IS murder, so it's rightly prohibited. So laws having to do with terminating fetuses are difficult and complicated.

Also, we have pretty much overpopulated the earth (though this is very subjective). Some cultures, -- particularly Communist China and to some extent Japan -- have used abortion as a method of "birth control." In my mind, it's not really "wrong," but I think it's not a very practical and sensible method of birth control, and I think contemporary China has backed away from the practice. As with most things, the general principles are fairly easy (in my opinion) to figure out, but (forgive me for a silly religious phrase) the "devil is in the details."
Stephen Kahn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2015, 07:54 PM   #214
Michael
Obsessed Member
 
Michael's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,457
Welcome, Stephen Kahn!

Quote:
Stephen Kahn wrote View Post
The universe follows "laws" of cause and effect. I bang a nail; it goes into a board.
You're lucky. I bang a nail, I just get holes in my dick.

Quote:
Human beings are animals with complex brains. We are a product of evolution. We are the only animals (on planet earth) with full self awareness and full awareness of our mortality. There are other "intelligent animals" such as primates, elephants, whales, crows, octopuses, but none of them have full self awareness and realization of mortality.
Source?
It's likely there is a level of truth in this, but I am unaware of where you are getting this from, other than assuming it to be the case.
What makes you think they are unaware if their mortality? Similarily, when you see things like videos of dogs rescuing other dogs from the freeway, or staying vigil over an injured dog/animal, what do you think is going on?


Quote:
As animals are chief drives are to survive and pass on our genes. As the excellent book DENIAL argues, only humans developed full intelligence because we are so good at lying. We lie to each other and to ourselves all the time. Our chief lie is, "I won't die." As clever liars we invented religion. Several of the chief lies include "I have a soul that will exist after my physical body dies, either through reincarnation (Karmic religions) or through Abrahmic Heaven/Hell. Life is not fair, so lie #2 is "good" will be rewarded and "evil" will be punished.
I would also add "fairness" to that list. A lot of theists I've spoken to will often appeal to a universal sense of "fairness".
'I've been good, therefore I deserve good things. Bad things happening to me are unfair.'
This idea of 'deserving' a certain level of treatment from the universe because of the way you live.
The universe doesn't owe you shit.

Theists generally thinking terminating a pregnancy means you deserve bad things to happen to you, which goes a long way to justifying the awful things some religious people will do to abortionists.

Quote:
As far as abortion goes, words such as "pro-life" and "pro-choice" have little meaning and little usefulness.
The terms seem to only exist as a way to seperate the two basic ideologies apart. Of course, being 'pro choice' has no bearing on if you are or aren't 'pro-life', and being against abortion does not at all make you 'pro-life', yet the anti-abortion propaganda machine has made that their label, for political reasons.

Quote:
Also, we have pretty much overpopulated the earth (though this is very subjective). Some cultures, -- particularly Communist China and to some extent Japan -- have used abortion as a method of "birth control." In my mind, it's not really "wrong," but I think it's not a very practical and sensible method of birth control, and I think contemporary China has backed away from the practice. As with most things, the general principles are fairly easy (in my opinion) to figure out, but (forgive me for a silly religious phrase) the "devil is in the details."
I have yet to be shown legitimate arguments against abortion as a population control method. Many will find that view cold, but that does not make it incorrect.

The arguments I do hear (though I admit it is not often) are usually the same ones used against abortion as a whole, and they are very weak, in my opinion.

Michael...you are correct
- selliedjoup
Michael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2015, 08:48 PM   #215
Stephen Kahn
New Member!
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 10
Thank you, Michael. When I was young, I got a lot of crap for being an atheist (to be fair, fell short of persecution, but nobody likes to be surrounded be people saying/implying "you are stupid; you are bad; etc.), so I am very pleased to see atheism come into its own as a serious category of thought and inspiration.

Quote:
What makes you think they are unaware if their mortality?
It's arguable. I just don't think animals "think" abstract thoughts in a way similar to how we humans do. Evolution drives us to survive and mate. "Higher" animals react to danger with "fight" and "flight." As much as we have striven to communicate with other animals; notably attempts to communicate with primates with sign language, and people such as Dr. Lilly trying to communicate with whales, I am very skeptical.

I think what you say about "fairness" is valid. Children start saying, "That's not fair," at a very early age. Many years ago I studied and worked in child development and education, but I haven't kept up so I can't throw a lot of references at you.

Quote:
I have yet to be shown legitimate arguments against abortion as a population control method. Many will find that view cold, but that does not make it incorrect.
You may be correct. Post WW II China, in my opinion, one of the more brutal and unpleasant countries of the 20th Century, adopted abortion as a primary method of birth control. They were realistic and sensible to realize that their explosive population growth was a problem and to strive to slow it down. From what I've read about China and its evolution away from the worst of Mao's excessive brutality and megalomania they have backed away using abortion as a main method of birth control. For one thing, forcing it on people is not a very wholesome or admirable activity. By and large, as living standards rise and as people depend less on having lots of children as an way to provide for retirement, population growth drops pretty quickly without imposed abortion. Also, although modern medicine makes abortion much safer than it used to be, it still is a major medical procedure. It also has a strong psychological effect on many women. It's part of our empathy evolution to care for and protect children. Even for people who are not religious, especially women, our drives are to protect and nurture children, and I think it is perilous to mess with that carelessly. I've known irreligious women who had to have abortions for medical reasons and they seem to be affected by (not traumatized, but impacted) the experience.
Stephen Kahn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2015, 01:43 AM   #216
Michael
Obsessed Member
 
Michael's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,457
Quote:
Stephen Kahn wrote View Post
Thank you, Michael. When I was young, I got a lot of crap for being an atheist (to be fair, fell short of persecution, but nobody likes to be surrounded be people saying/implying "you are stupid; you are bad; etc.), so I am very pleased to see atheism come into its own as a serious category of thought and inspiration.
I too am happy to see atheism on the rise, however I would rather see atheism rise out of a proper application of skepticism, rather than a distaste for religion, as we often see.
I would suggest that too often people are atheists and pat themselves on the back, believing themselves to be above being fooled, then go off and buy into things like holistic medicines, homeopathy and acupuncture without giving it a second thought.

I believe that a rise in skepticism instead would be preferable- as I believe atheism comes about as a natural result of skepticism to religion - but would also influence the large number of atheists who also believe other ridiculous claims.

Quote:
It's arguable. I just don't think animals "think" abstract thoughts in a way similar to how we humans do. Evolution drives us to survive and mate. "Higher" animals react to danger with "fight" and "flight." As much as we have striven to communicate with other animals; notably attempts to communicate with primates with sign language, and people such as Dr. Lilly trying to communicate with whales, I am very skeptical.
Fair enough. I do remember a story - and this is anecdotal at the moment, as I can't find the information (though i haven't looked that hard), about one of the apes that was taught sign language having a dog friend, and when s/he was told about this fact, mourning over the dog's death.
I will hopefully find the information at some point, as if that is true and not warped by my memory, it would suggest at the least that some animals can understand the mortality in other animals, if not themselves.

Quote:
I think what you say about "fairness" is valid. Children start saying, "That's not fair," at a very early age. Many years ago I studied and worked in child development and education, but I haven't kept up so I can't throw a lot of references at you.
Perhaps 'fairness' was the wrong word for me to use, but it was the first that came to mind.
The fairness referred to by children I would suggest is more about equality - in a situation such as a playground or classroom, where all kids are essentially on even ground, all kids being treated equally - to which there is some validity.

There have been studies done also on this idea in animals - for instance this study, where researchers gave one capuchin cucumber, and a second capuchin (in sight of the first capuchin) grapes. The first capuchin was happy with cucumber until he realised the other was being fed grapes, then he had a fit.
There is also this experiment where two capuchin monkeys were forced to work together to unlock some food, but unlocking that food would result in only one monkey having access to the food. However, after unlocking the food, the monkey with access voluntarily gave the other monkey an equal share.

These experiments lend a lot of weight to the idea that an idea of fairness - ie equality between members of a social group - may indeed be an inherent trait in some animals (though not all).

I meant more fairness in the idea of "I've been good, therefore the universe owes me good things", and "You have been bad, therefore the universe owes you bad things". We as a species especially don't like to think that someone who does bad things can escape unpunished, hence this idea of karmic judgement with things like heaven and hell.


Quote:
You may be correct. Post WW II China, in my opinion, one of the more brutal and unpleasant countries of the 20th Century, adopted abortion as a primary method of birth control. They were realistic and sensible to realize that their explosive population growth was a problem and to strive to slow it down. From what I've read about China and its evolution away from the worst of Mao's excessive brutality and megalomania they have backed away using abortion as a main method of birth control. For one thing, forcing it on people is not a very wholesome or admirable activity. By and large, as living standards rise and as people depend less on having lots of children as an way to provide for retirement, population growth drops pretty quickly without imposed abortion. Also, although modern medicine makes abortion much safer than it used to be, it still is a major medical procedure. It also has a strong psychological effect on many women. It's part of our empathy evolution to care for and protect children. Even for people who are not religious, especially women, our drives are to protect and nurture children, and I think it is perilous to mess with that carelessly. I've known irreligious women who had to have abortions for medical reasons and they seem to be affected by (not traumatized, but impacted) the experience.
Certainly good points about the invasiveness of a procedure such as abortion, and one that should be taken into consideration when discussing this sort of thing.
Mandatory abortion would subject half of the population to invasive procedures against their will, and subsequently is not a viable option in my opinion.

However, actively encouraging the procedure - perhaps with strong penalties for those that wish to have more than, say, 2 children - combined with universal free access to birth control options such as condoms and the pill, along with public campaigns to remove the stigma associated with both abortion and birth control could prove effective.
Regardless, abortion should not be relied on as a population control on its own, however when used properly in conjunction with other solutions I do believe it can be effective.

Michael...you are correct
- selliedjoup
Michael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2015, 10:04 AM   #217
Stephen Kahn
New Member!
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 10
Confused Who says there are too many humans?

Thank you, Michael for your interesting and informative reply. We live in an age where we are hugely ambivalent among conflicting memes such as “the right to have privacy” and “information wants to be free” and we have the right to have freedom as individual agents and the desire to have society protect us against natural threats (earthquakes, storms, volcanoes, epidemics [ebola] and human threats (criminals, political and religious threats, dangerously insane people). I now lean toward “transparency,” so I will tell you that I live on a large populated island off the West Coast of Washington state. I am 70 years old, retired from a variety of jobs (in education more than anything else), married for 49 years, and now participate in Toastmasters (as I once taught high school public speaking) and volunteer for the local law enforcement agency (as I've had a lot of experiences with crime and criminals, including having my life impacted by three murders). Which is probably far more than you wanted to know, so please don't think about what I told you ever again.

You sensibly probably don't want to tell me anything more about yourself than “Michael” as a first name. Perhaps judicious; for all I know you are the head of a Buddhist “sleeper terrorist cell” from Myanmar (aka Burma).

One of the great puzzles of human life is “nature” (our genes) vs. “nurture” (our social conditioning from parents, personal circles, and culture) as the 2 main ingredients of our identity.

My memory is that at the age of 10, I read the entire Judeo-Christian Bible (getting stuck at Revelation and saying, “This is crazy talk” and closing the book.) I then said to myself (or so I delude myself into remembering), “This is either the product of the entity known as “God,” or it is something invented by human beings. It sure seems to have the fingerprints of human beings all over it.”

About the age of 35 I came to the realization that I have the “spiritual makeup” of a religious fanatic. Except I don't believe in “God.” So I am a fanatical atheist.

From what you have written, I would say that you belong to a slightly different “denomination” of atheism than I do. Just as I know a zealous Lutheran minister who is on friendly and argumentative terms with a Catholic priest, atheists of different flavors can communicate on friendly terms without getting “bent out of shape” about differences of opinion. It would be boring if we all thought alike, would it not!?

Population limitation is an interesting and difficult puzzle. It's obvious to me that there are “too many” human beings. As it was obvious to the 18th Century English cleric Malthus, who wrote "The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man"

I recall having a vigorous argument with some evangelical Christians. First they told me that abortion is a reprehensible sin. “Worse than murder?” I asked them. “Yes!” They vehemently responded. They could not articulate a reason. I said, “About a third of human pregnancies end by miscarriage. Isn't that an “Act of God,” a murder inflicted by the God you say is loving and kind?” They began to sputter with incoherent rage. I learned that most people decide what they want to believe at a fairly early age and then spend the rest of their lives rationalizing and defending their beliefs. The Evangelicals were also vehement that arguments for limiting human population were absurd.

I came to some conclusions about why they wee so emotional. First, some of them had desperately wanted to have children and failed in their attempts, often by miscarriage. As they loved a “God” [who to me is obviously and fortunately imaginary because if “IT” existed, it would be clearly EVIL] rather than hating God for causing their miscarriages they DISPLACED their emotions into hating people who enjoyed sexual frolicking without begging permission from God (i.e. by becoming fanatical Christians and marrying another Christian) to enjoy sex.

Second, while Karmic religions are mostly “genetic” (inherited by being born into a Hindu/Buddhist family); Abrahmic religions are mostly “viral” spread by memes. Spreading ones favorite memes can easily become an addiction. Compared to other religions, strange as it seems, Christianity and Islam have some advantages over a lot of other popular religions (everything, even nonsense, is relative). The “easy pickings” of viral religion spreading are now gone, so most Christians are limited to indoctrinating their children. It's a natural drive to reproduce, but sensible people limit it. My wife and I have only one child, and she and her wife have only one child (with two homosexual “daddies” naturally). So we are doing our bit to limit population.

Even here, there are problems. If you limit population growth to aggressively, as both China and Japan seem to have done, you then get out of balance population cohorts, with lots of elderly people and not enough young people to support them. I've probably put you to sleep, so I will stop and hope you reply.

I will finish with one warning. I am going senile. The politically correct term is “demented.” So if nothing I write makes any sense, you are certainly correct.
Stephen Kahn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2015, 03:35 PM   #218
psychodiva
I Live Here
 
psychodiva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 9,613
wow- TLDR mate - anything more 'pithy'?

“'I am offended by that.' Well, so fucking what." Fry
psychodiva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2015, 04:02 PM   #219
Stephen Kahn
New Member!
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 10
What's TDLR besides Texas Department of Licensing?

Why did you read my post? So you could whine? I suppose I should go read one or two of your thousands of previous posts. Perhaps you are interesting.
Stephen Kahn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2015, 04:03 PM   #220
Kinich Ahau
Obsessed Member
 
Kinich Ahau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Great Ocean Road
Posts: 2,917
Hi stephan, TLDR - to long didn't read.

Once you are dead, you are nothing. Graffito, Pompeii
Kinich Ahau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2015, 04:06 PM   #221
psychodiva
I Live Here
 
psychodiva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 9,613
yup - you may have received a clue from the request for something more pithy?

“'I am offended by that.' Well, so fucking what." Fry
psychodiva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2015, 04:07 PM   #222
psychodiva
I Live Here
 
psychodiva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 9,613
pithy
[pith-ee]
Spell Syllables
Synonyms Examples Word Origin
adjective, pithier, pithiest.
1.
brief, forceful, and meaningful in expression; full of vigor, substance, or meaning; terse; forcible:
a pithy observation.
2.
of, like, or abounding in pith.
Origin

“'I am offended by that.' Well, so fucking what." Fry
psychodiva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2015, 04:07 PM   #223
Stephen Kahn
New Member!
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 10
Mad Pith

mr cnse thn pithy
Stephen Kahn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2015, 10:10 PM   #224
lostsheep
Obsessed Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,902
Are you really going senile? That's awful.

"If God inspired the Bible, why is it such a piece of shit?" (Kaziglu Bey)
lostsheep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2015, 12:46 AM   #225
Michael
Obsessed Member
 
Michael's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,457
So, yeah. There was quite a lot to your last post. I wouldn't quite put it how psychodiva did, but in the interest of keeping some form of brevity (I tend to be about as verbose as you, from the looks of things, and if we both do it these posts will get intolerably long) I will try to condense down to a few points.

Quote:
Stephen Kahn wrote
One of the great puzzles of human life is “nature” (our genes) vs. “nurture” (our social conditioning from parents, personal circles, and culture) as the 2 main ingredients of our identity.
I sit somewhere in the middle. i believe there are fundamental ideas inherent to humans/animals/whatever, but through nurture can be encouraged or discouraged so they form greater or more dimishing roles in an individual.
I will admit to having no real basis to this belief, however, as I just started forming it when replying to this, and am basing it on what I do know about the subject - which is limited.
So if you or anyone reading this has some points to broach regarding the subject, I'm all ears. Or eyes, in this case.

Quote:
About the age of 35 I came to the realization that I have the “spiritual makeup” of a religious fanatic. Except I don't believe in “God.” So I am a fanatical atheist.

From what you have written, I would say that you belong to a slightly different “denomination” of atheism than I do. Just as I know a zealous Lutheran minister who is on friendly and argumentative terms with a Catholic priest, atheists of different flavors can communicate on friendly terms without getting “bent out of shape” about differences of opinion. It would be boring if we all thought alike, would it not!?
We definitely differ here, as i don't believe in different 'denominations' of atheism, beside the a/gnostic a/theism wagon wheel. If you are unsure what I am referring to, I'll try to find it somewhere. i think I have an image demonstrating it lying around,

Basically I think atheism should be strictly considered the lack of belief in a god (with room for gnosticism or agnosticism - whether you believe a god could ever be knowable), and anything beyond that should be considered seperate to your atheism.

This is why I strongly dislike things like atheism+. Even if I may or may not agree with the other issues they want to represent, they should not be in any way roped in with atheism.

Quote:
I learned that most people decide what they want to believe at a fairly early age and then spend the rest of their lives rationalizing and defending their beliefs.
Stick around here long enough and you'll see plenty of that from the passing theists.
As I said, some - most - atheists are guilty of this also. Maybe not with religion, but a lot hold views they have chosen and rationalised without even realising. I am currently trying to work through most of my ideals to see where I may have done similar.

Quote:
The Evangelicals were also vehement that arguments for limiting human population were absurd.
And I think they are wrong to be so.


Quote:
Even here, there are problems. If you limit population growth to aggressively, as both China and Japan seem to have done, you then get out of balance population cohorts, with lots of elderly people and not enough young people to support them. I've probably put you to sleep, so I will stop and hope you reply.
We are already finding that problem. At least here in Australia - I don't know if the same is true where you are. Basically after WW2 the soldiers came home and started breeding like rabbits, causing a boom in babies (known coincidentally enough as the "baby boomers"). However, this generation didn't have nearly as many kids of their own, and gen x had the same problem. So as the baby-boomers get older, we're seeing a larger and larger proportion of the population move into the senior-citizen category, with all the social benefit problems that go with it.

However, this problem could have been avoided if people had foreseen the oncoming difficulty earlier and put in place proper measures to resolve the situation

The same is true of any artificially-created age-balances. With proper planning, this should not be a problem. It is not like people get old overnight - there is time to put proper measures in place. It's when people don't that you get the problems.

Quote:
I will finish with one warning. I am going senile. The politically correct term is “demented.” So if nothing I write makes any sense, you are certainly correct.
My condolences, though you seem fine at the moment.

Michael...you are correct
- selliedjoup
Michael is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:40 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin - Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2000 - , Raving Atheists [dot] com frequency-supranational frequency-supranational